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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:45 AM
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Mullen: Pakistan unrest no threat to nukes
Mullen: Pakistan unrest no threat to nukes
By Robert Burns - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Nov 16, 2007 7:32:29 EST

The nations top military officer said Thursday there is no sign that political unrest in Pakistan has undermined the security of that countrys nuclear weapons arsenal.

I dont see any indication right now that security of those weapons is in jeopardy, but clearly we are very watchful, as we should be, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference.

He described the military situation in Pakistan as stable and said U.S. military contacts with Pakistan have not been disrupted by turmoil connected with President Pervez Musharraf declaring a state of emergency Nov. 3.

Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who appeared with Joint Chiefs chairman, both urged Musharraf to end the state of emergency as soon as possible. Gates declined to say whether he thought opposition leader Benazir Bhutto would be more effective than Musharraf in supporting U.S. efforts against international terrorism.

I would say, though, that his ability to lead, to continue to be a partner in the war on terror very much depends on how developments unfold over the next few weeks in Pakistan, Gates said. He needs to move beyond the emergency measures as quickly as possible. I think our view is he needs to step out of army chief of staff role and become a civilian.

Gates was asked what might develop in coming weeks that would preclude Musharraf from continuing to be an anti-terror partner with the United States.

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